MK Dons returned to the automatic promotion places in League 2 after winning 2-1 away at bottom side Notts County.
Second half goals from David Wheeler and Chuks Aneke picked up a vital win for Paul Tisdale’s Dons, who bounced back with a win after losing at Tranmere last time out.
Ben Barclay struck a goal back for the home side in stoppage time, but it was not enough for the strugglers to prevent the Dons from leaving Nottingham with 3 points.
With Bury losing 3-1 at play-off chasers Newport, it was enough for the Dons to jump the Shakers and go back into League Two’s automatic promotion spots ahead of the final 3 games.
The Dons are third and one point ahead of Bury. They are 4 points ahead of 5th place Tranmere, who lost at home to Forest Green, while they are also a point behind Mansfield, who struck 4 against Morecambe.
MK thought they had made a swift start at Meadow Lane, but a foul by an MK Dons attacker had already been penalised before Wheeler put the ball in.
After a quiet first half where the home side’s Stead denied by Nicholls with the best chance, the second half also began with a disallowed goal as Notts County’s Craig Mackail-Smith had a strike disallowed for offside.
The Dons began to apply some pressure and it was the visitors that got a breakthrough just after the hour, as Wheeler was found by Dean Lewington’s corner and he in turn found the back of the net.
The match began to become more full-on, but the Dons had the better chances, with home keeper Ryan Schofield called on to keep out sub Aneke and Agard.
Nicholls then kept out Stead, with Michael Doyle and Rob Milsom also coming close. But the Dons would then grab a second on the break.
In the final minutes of normal time, Aneke picked up the ball in his own half, advanced all the way up to the goal, and beat Schofield.
Barclay headed the ball in late on from a cross, but by then it was too late for Notts County, who slip up in their hopes to avoid demotion from the EFL, while the Dons’ hopes of advancing up a league received a huge boost.